The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is awarding a Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Programme grant totalling $1,962,097 to the Fulton County School System in Georgia to curb harmful pollution from school buses.
This grant will allow Fulton County to fund the early retirement of 85 diesel-powered school buses and replace them with new Autogas buses. The buses to be replaced are all model year 2001 to 2005 diesel school buses. This investment will reduce about 22.5 tonnes of nitrogen oxides and will increase the number of Autogas buses in the school fleet to 272.
“The Fulton County School system has shown their commitment to reducing the impacts of diesel emissions with the early retirement of older dirtier school buses,” said EPA Acting Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “Combined with the clean school bus idle reduction policy, the school system has demonstrated a strong commitment to children’s health and the environment.”
The replacement and retrofit of diesel vehicles will reduce harmful diesel emissions, providing important public health and air quality benefits. Exposure to diesel exhaust can lead to serious health conditions like asthma and respiratory illnesses and can worsen existing heart and lung disease, especially in children and the elderly.
In summer 2017, Fulton County Schools rolled out a fleet of 90 Autogas buses, representing the 10,000th Autogas school bus manufactured by Georgia-based Blue Bird Corp. At its transportation facilities in Alpharetta and Fairburn, Fulton County Schools has two new LPG stations to fuel its buses.